What Is Periodontitis and How Is It Treated?

Periodontitis, or rather gum disease, is an infection that damages your soft tissue and also the bone that supports the teeth. If left untreated, the bone around your teeth progressively disappears. Periodontitis is basically inflammation that occurs around your teeth. Microorganisms, e.g., bacteria stick on the tooth surface and get lodged in the gum pockets and then multiply. The body’s immune system will then react, and as the toxins are removed, inflammation occurs.

The consequences of untreated periodontitis include tooth loss and risk of heart attack and stroke. The buildup of bacterial plaque is a leading cause of periodontitis. If not removed, the plaque hardens, forming calculus or tar. Practicing good oral hygiene can prevent most periodontal cases.

Quick Facts about Periodontitis

  • It affects the region around your teeth, including the gum and bone.
  • Periodontitis results from plaque and bacterial buildup on the tooth that results in a reaction from your immune system.
  • Although good hygiene practices can help in prevention and treatment, one can opt for surgery sometimes.
  • Smoking increases your chances of getting gum diseases and interferes with the treatment.
  • A link exists between periodontitis and conditions like heart disease.

Treatment

Treatment aims at cleaning out the bacteria lodged in the gum pockets, therefore, preventing further tissue and bone destruction. Our family-friendly dentist at Bay Port Dental Care may recommend the following to deal with gum disease:

Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing regularly keep gum disease at bay. Proper dental care requires you to brush at least two times daily and floss once. You can use the interdental brush if the space between your teeth is enough.
Arthritis patients and those suffering from dexterity complications may use electric toothbrushes for thorough cleaning. Given its chronic nature, periodontitis is bound to recur if you do not maintain good dental hygiene practices.

Cleaning and Scaling

Calculus and plaque have to be removed for the restoration of periodontal health. Scaling is done to clean beneath the gum line. The healthcare professional may use hand tools or ultrasonic devices to break up the calculus and plaque. Root planning focuses on smoothing rough areas found on the tooth roots.

Bacteria can accumulate in these rough patches and increase the chances of gum disease. This treatment procedure can be completed within one visit or even two, depending on the amount of calculus and plaque. Our dentist in Patchogue recommends cleaning twice yearly or even more frequently depending on how fast the plaque accumulates.

Medications

There is a variety of treatments available for this infection.

  • Antiseptic chip: This gelatin piece is filled up with Chlorhexidine. It reduces the pocket size and controls bacteria. As soon as root planing is completed, it is put inside the pockets. Over time, it is resealed.
  • Antibiotic gel: The gel contains an antibiotic called doxycycline that helps in controlling bacteria and shrinking periodontal pockets. After root planing and scaling have been done, the gel is put inside the pockets.
  • Antibiotic Microspheres: These are small particles that contain an antibiotic known as minocycline. They are also put inside the pockets after the root planing and scaling process.
  • Enzyme Suppressant: With its low doxycycline dose, it keeps the destructive enzymes at bay by delaying your body’s response to the enzyme reactions. It is an oral medication used together with root planning and scaling.
  • Oral Antibiotics: These too are oral and available in tablet and capsule form. They are short-term medications that should be used to treat acute or persistent periodontal infections.

Advanced Periodontitis

As mentioned before, surgery may be an option if non-surgical treatments and good dental hygiene fail. The options include:

  • Flap surgery for removal of calculus in the deep pockets
  • Tissue and bone grafts to regenerate the gum or bone tissue that may have been destroyed

Symptoms

Look out for the following signs:

  • Inflamed and swollen gums
  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Pain in the gums when touched
  • Receding gums
  • Extra spaces between teeth
  • Pus between gums and teeth
  • Bleeding during brushing or flossing
  • Halitosis
  • Loose teeth

Risk Factors

The following people are more likely to contract periodontitis:

  • Regular smokers
  • Women during puberty and pregnancy
  • Diabetes patients
  • AIDS patients
  • Cancer patients

Periodontal disease is better prevented than treated. If it reaches a point where you need treatment, look for a periodontal treatment dentist near you. We at Bay Port Dental Care offer gum disease treatment in Blue Point.

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